I hate to walk myself right into a stereotype. The one in question: Women and technology. The truth is: Technology freaks me out. I was always pretty good at following directions (building things... not at work... I just felt compelled to clear that up) but tech support can't win with me. If they start off by being condescending and talking to me like they're reading me a Dr. Seuss book, I get indignant: "Good Afternoon, my name's Warren. Mrs. Fox, do you see that box? Left-click on that box, Mrs. Fox. Did you find that box, Mrs. Fox?"
The repartee usually continues cordially:
"Yes, I found the box." said Mrs. Fox. "I'm not a total moron" She said to Warren.
But the fact is: I need them to talk to me like I'm a moron. Because I am a technology moron.
If I have a major issue like my website is down, I call Julia. I hate to tell people she's like a "virtual assistant" because it sounds like she's imaginary. What she is is this incredibly helpful, supportive person who takes pity on my neurotic soul. I'm in the U.S. and she's in Canada. When the wind is swirling off the Atlantic Ocean, you can hear my shrill cries up and down the Eastern seaboard: "Juuuuuuliaaaa!" (It's a higher pitched version of Fred Flintstone banging on his front door: "Wiiiiilmaaaa!") Who knows how many professional hockey games I've disrupted along the route. And that says a lot. Do you have any idea how hard it is to hear anything at a pro hockey game?
Part of my difficulty, is that when I have a problem, my go-to thing is to freak out first and ask questions later.
I'm fine when everything goes smoothly. I know how to get onto all of my favorite websites and maneuver around my blog with confidence but heaven forbid something goes awry. It takes the littlest thing to throw me. I go from my version of normal to Tasmania in mere seconds. "My password to get into my online banking isn't working. Oh my gosh. I know it's the right password. I use it all the time. I wrote it down somewhere. Where did I write it? I thought it was smart not to have the computer remember my banking password. But now I don't remember it either. How can I have all of my other passwords written down and not that one? It makes no sense! Is this it? I can't read my handwriting. Oh my gosh is it an "l" or a "1"? I hate when they make me use weird numbers and symbols that I never use... I usually just type it automatically and it works. Let me just try not to think and start typing. This can't be happening! Now I'll never be able to open my account. Who do I call? I don't even know who to call. Maybe my login's wrong... I don't get it. Did they lock me out for some reason? Did they close my account? Great, now I'm going to have to go there. The branch over here's only open until three. I'm not even dressed. I don't have any clean pants. So now I have to dig out some pants from the laundry. I'll have to go to the branch all the way down there. What if I have to wait and I'm not back in time for the Deepak Chopra online meditation I signed up for? What if they tell me somebody hacked my account and now I can't use it? How am I going to pay for anything? I need my ATM card to work. I'll tell them they'll just have to reactivate my account. I can't live without a bank account while they take months to investigate who stole my identity. I have to prove to them that I'm me. I'd better bring my social security card, my driver's license, my marriage license, my birth certificate, and a recent bill. Why is it all on me? Why doesn't the other person have to prove they're me? By now, she probably has a fake ID with my name on it, and is driving around Malaysia in a Ferrari with six Gucci purses filled with the eighty-two dollars she got out of my bank account. It'll take me years to ... Oh... I had the caps lock on. Oh, okay, there it goes. I'm in."